Governor Kathleen Sebelius has directed flags to be flown at half-staff throughout Kansas from sunup to sundown on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 in honor of Spc. Ronald Andrew Schmidt, a member of Battery C, 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery who died August 3rd from injuries sustained August 2nd in a one vehicle accident while serving in Iraq.
“We shall not forget the courage and sacrifice that Specialist Schmidt made for his state and nation; our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as we lower our flags in his honor,” Sebelius said.
Spc. Schmidt enlisted in the Kansas Army National Guard's Detachment 1, Battery C, 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Newton, on January 27th, 2007 during his senior year at Newton High School. Upon graduation from Newton High in May 2007 he attended training as a cannon crewman. He transferred to Battery C, 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Kingman, to deploy with the unit to Iraq. He was promoted to private first class on November 28th, 2007, and then to specialist.
Spc. Schmidt was awarded a Bronze Star, Iraqi Campaign Ribbon, Good Conduct medal, Overseas Service Bar and Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device.
Spc. Schmidt is survived by his mother, Andrea Maria Schmidt, of Newton, and his uncle Paul Schmidt, of Goddard.
In July 2007, Sebelius signed an executive order allowing the flags of the United States and State of Kansas to be displayed at half-staff throughout the state when a member of the Kansas National Guard or Kansas Air National Guard is killed in the line of duty, or when a Kansas resident serving as a member of the United States Armed Forces is killed in the line of duty. In each instance, the governor will designate the date for flags to fly at half-staff.
Since April 2003, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have claimed the lives of ten members of the Kansas National Guard.
Executive orders can be found online at: http://www.governor.ks.gov/executive/Orders/
To be notified of the governor's directives regarding flag lowering, please visit http://www.governor.ks.gov/flaghonors.htm.